EAST GRANBY, Conn. --
This isn’t your typical vehicle service garage.
Inside the vehicle maintenance facility at Bradley Air National Guard Base, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen work diligently on government vehicles from various organizations, including security forces and aerospace ground equipment.
In a specially designed bay, the section receives an aircraft de-icer for maintenance. Outside the facility, a fire truck specialized for airport firefighting awaits final inspection before returning to the base fire department.
Bradley has a diverse fleet of vehicles and the base’s team of vehicle maintenance specialists ensure all of them are ready to go.
“We are responsible for making sure all the vehicles on base are taken care of and up and running,” said Senior Airman Thomas Bourgault, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman. “We service mission support vehicles such as refueling trucks, fire trucks, security forces trucks, pretty much everything.”
Every year, more than 100 vehicles will come in for maintenance.
“On a given drill weekend, we usually do regular maintenance—oil changes, repairing wheel bearings—but on occasion we do have jobs that are a bit bigger,” said Bourgault.
These tasks impact the 103rd Airlift Wing’s overall mission.
“We have to make sure that refueling trucks are available so cargo can get where it needs to go,” said Bourgault. “We have a hand in pretty much everything here as far as the vehicles different squadrons use.”
For Bourgault, the positive work environment makes a difference in tackling the responsibility of maintaining the fleet.
“We have a good team over here,” said Bourgault. “If we have 10 to 15 trucks that have to go in and out on a given weekend, it’s great that we’re able to come together and make that work. I look forward to it when I come in on drill weekends.”
This environment has positively impacted one of the section’s newest members, Airman 1st Class Tacito Castillo.
“Taking the things I learned in tech school and applying them hands-on with the vehicles here has been a very uplifting experience to say the least,” said Castillo. “For me it’s been a great learning experience at every step to understand things that I may not have known before, and now putting those things into practice.”
Castillo has applied what he’s learned outside the workplace.
“I’ve been able to use the skills I’ve learned here to fix my own car at home and help some of my friends as well,” said Castillo. “Sometimes I learn things from working on those vehicles as well that I can share when I come in here.”
Now in his second year with the vehicle maintenance section, Castillo has gained perspective on his role.
“We make sure we do our part here to make sure the fleet in its entirely is running,” said Castillo. “It’s a constant process and we continue to do that every day.”